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Growing pain for e-bikes.

Old 07-02-23, 03:16 PM
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Question Growing pain for e-bikes.

E-bikes (among other EVs) causing trouble in community (besides NYC)


Encinitas City Council declares emergency for e-bikes, bicycles:


https://www.kpbs.org/news/public-saf...bikes-bicycles
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Old 07-02-23, 03:56 PM
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What point are you attempting to make?
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Old 07-02-23, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
What point are you attempting to make?
Not attempting to make any point, just sharing the info about the danger of e-bikes (& other EVs).

What point does your post have to make?
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Old 07-02-23, 06:33 PM
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Bike paths are often dangerous for any bike, electric or not as there are too many people walking and chatting or with a dog without a leash and not paying attention to where they walk or where they stop. More often the people on e-bikes in my area are novices but they are not engaging in risky behavior but the same cannot be said for pedestrians whose brain shuts down when their attention is focused 100% on a smart phone.

Lots of people trying to slam EV vehicles and doing the work of the oil companies without compensation. Since the end of World War II the oil and auto companies have been working aggressively to diminsh options for people to use mass transit and bicycles for transportation. Social media has made the spread of disinformation far greater and crippled most people's ability to exercise critical thinking about anything. The concept of fact checking has disappeared from the news media and forums such as this.
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Old 07-03-23, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Bike paths are often dangerous for any bike, electric or not as there are too many people walking and chatting or with a dog without a leash and not paying attention to where they walk or where they stop. More often the people on e-bikes in my area are novices but they are not engaging in risky behavior but the same cannot be said for pedestrians whose brain shuts down when their attention is focused 100% on a smart phone.

Lots of people trying to slam EV vehicles and doing the work of the oil companies without compensation. Since the end of World War II the oil and auto companies have been working aggressively to diminsh options for people to use mass transit and bicycles for transportation. Social media has made the spread of disinformation far greater and crippled most people's ability to exercise critical thinking about anything. The concept of fact checking has disappeared from the news media and forums such as this.
This is an article that is reporting on the City Council of Encintas City; do you honestly need fact checking on the article?

What specific statement do you think is untrue within the article?

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Old 07-03-23, 08:11 AM
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Good that they are being proactive. But maybe the number of ebike collisions have tripled since 2020 because the number of ebikes have quadrupled?

Hopefully they are recommending safety courses because they see a growing pattern of ignorance causing the collisions.
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Old 07-03-23, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Calsun

Lots of people trying to slam EV vehicles and doing the work of the oil companies without compensation.
That is certainly true. And it is a somewhat surprisingly large contingent.

But it is also true that if you put inexperienced riders on motorized bikes that are faster and heavier than anything they've ever encountered a number of these riders will get themselves into trouble. And if they're in populated areas that trouble is more likely to involve others. I don't know if better education can reduce these issues but I can certainly understand why a municipality would want to give it a shot.
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Old 07-03-23, 10:10 AM
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the article talks about "bicycle and e-bike collisions" which kind of makes no sense because it doesn't point out what the collisions are with?

I have to assume some collisions are with cars ? maybe ?

I do see kids on cheap ebikes just scooting along holding the throttle button down as they run stop signs, race thru parking lots, etc.

Some of those will of course be hit and possibly injured.

Like the NYC "ebike fire problem" it's mostly attributable to user error, not the ebike itself

/markp
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Old 07-03-23, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
the article talks about "bicycle and e-bike collisions" which kind of makes no sense because it doesn't point out what the collisions are with?
My impression is that they don't really know and they don't really have decent data. They just have a sense that there's a growing concern and they want to do something. And they don't really know what that something is, but calling for 'more education' is always a safe stance.
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Old 07-03-23, 08:01 PM
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Many ebikes are being used as a relatively cheap way for people to get around faster and with far less effort and also much less expensively than a motor vehicle.
Unfortunately most of these bikes aren't properly cared for and/or maintained thus becoming a safety hazard for the community at large. They come into my shop all the time for failed electronics of some sort...gahd these cheap internet ebikes are crap...but when we give them a safety inspection, as we do for every bike that comes into our shop, we see brakes that are so worn they barely work. When we notify the customer we seldom get approval to service them, just get them running.
We too see more people zipping around the streets...and sidewalks...on these things often in violation of traffic laws but I've never seen a police officer stop them...I guess it happens and I don't see it but yipes it is concerning.
The battery charging issue is a big problem and the unsafe operation is another just waiting for a major incident to make headlines on a slow news day.
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Old 07-03-23, 08:23 PM
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The problem is of regulation. It's a gray area. Like, none of us want to see ebikes licensed and taxed like cars. But there have to be some standards around their manufacture and care so as to prevent fires.
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Old 07-03-23, 08:26 PM
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I think the US needs more emphasis on safe cycling education, and eBikes/scooters definitely need to be included also.
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Old 07-03-23, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by adlai
The problem is of regulation. It's a gray area. Like, none of us want to see ebikes licensed and taxed like cars. But there have to be some standards around their manufacture and care so as to prevent fires.
I kinda think they should require an operator's license, but not sure that putting plates on them will do much for anybody.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 07-04-23 at 10:32 AM. Reason: extra "be" in there
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Old 07-04-23, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Bike paths are often dangerous for any bike, electric or not as there are too many people walking and chatting or with a dog without a leash and not paying attention to where they walk or where they stop. More often the people on e-bikes in my area are novices but they are not engaging in risky behavior but the same cannot be said for pedestrians whose brain shuts down when their attention is focused 100% on a smart phone.
Thinking pedestrians should get out of your way is precisely the same reasoning that drivers apply to cyclists cluttering up the roads. The problem is not pedestrian behavior. The problem is the mismatch between bike speed and pedestrian speed.

In the absence of bikes, motorized or otherwise, pedestrians get along with each other just fine on so-called "bike paths." It's the bikes that create problems. You're riding too fast for the conditions. Simple as that.

Sick of encountering pedestrians behaving like pedestrians on multi-use paths? Slow to walking speed or get off the bike. Better still, ride on the road.

Complain all you like. Nothing about pedestrian behavior is going to change. Nothing should change. Why is that not obvious?
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Old 07-04-23, 08:27 AM
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I think we already have too many regulations in this country. What I would love to see is for municipalities to improve bike infrastructure. That is the true path to increased bike safety.

Have to agree with Takhak about MUP safety. Don't ride on them if you aren't prepared to stop. And for Gods sake stop complaining about how stupid people are on them. Might was well complain about the rain for all the good it does.
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Old 07-05-23, 08:43 AM
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Yep, we are getting out of the unregulated days of eBikes. People are abusing their priveleges and now enforcement will be cracking down. Probably motorcycle cops will start chasing down eBikers who ignore traffic laws that they got away with on acoustic bikes.

It sounds like that town is also doing something to boost bike infrastructure and install cameras. Cameras are needed everywhere, now that people have no personal integrity.
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Old 07-05-23, 03:53 PM
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I've been commuting on my (folding) bicycle & e-bike in NYC traffic since 2013.
I've come close many times of getting hit in traffic, only once I got T-boned in the rain, low light visibility by and SUV that ran a stop sign;
killed my folding bike, but I walked away with minor bruises & sore.
40 years of cycling, 25 years of motorcycling; IME, excess speed is what gets people in trouble.

On ebikes, people who has not been cycling for decades can easily get to excess speed without knowing, similar with motorcycles.

Most American drivers have been trained for decades that bikes & motorcycles don't belong on public roads, they are just toys.
Unlike many other parts of the world that 2-wheel vehicles often outnumber cars.

There's been major mindset shift in large cities that promote less cars & more bikes.
But accidents will occur regardless of regulations; whether more regulations on ebike would save lives is difficult to tell.
AFAICS, highly dependent on location and traffic pattern.
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Old 07-05-23, 08:17 PM
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there is an article in today's Atlantic about e-bike "explosions"

idiotic

/markp
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Old 07-07-23, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
there is an article in today's Atlantic about e-bike "explosions"

idiotic

/markp
There is an article about e-bike "eplosions" on the internet every single day; which one are you talking about? can you provide a specific link?

This is a common aspect of propaganda driven legislation and/or false assumptions made by people who don't understand statistics.

Collisions tripled, ok... what's the pool size?
Were there as many e-bikes on the road in 2020 as there are now?
Sure, the NUMBER of collisions has gone up, but has the percentage of collisions among e-bike population gone up?
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Old 07-07-23, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cat0020
There is an article about e-bike "eplosions" on the internet every single day; which one are you talking about? can you provide a specific link?
This is a common aspect of propaganda driven legislation and/or false assumptions made by people who don't understand statistics.
Article is paywalled. I was pointing out that the writer only fuels the hysteria by calling them "explosions" not fires.

much of NY has building wiring that is 100+ years old and when you have 3-5 ebikes charging in a basement, plugged into power strips, who knows what will happen. Especially left unattended.

Like the article on "Ebike collisions" it's pretty clear there's not much reporting there. Just a vague notion that more "laws" will solve everything.

I'm reminded of a quote from H. L:. Menken

"The whole aim of politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and clamoring to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
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Old 07-07-23, 09:38 AM
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Print is a dying medium (except for Forbes and Harper's); they need "explosive" articles to attract readers.
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Old 07-07-23, 03:51 PM
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https://electrek.co/2023/07/07/polic...lectric-bikes/

Well we tried to warn you!
We totally get that electric vehicles are the wave of the future and that everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere.
However, giving a 13 year old an electric bike that exceeds 30 mph, that lacks required safety equipment, and a driver without any sort of understanding of the rules of the road is just a recipe for disaster.
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Old 07-09-23, 04:08 PM
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In the California town of Pacific Grove the city council voted to set a speed limit on the bike path for e-bike of 12 mph. Not much thought if any went into this decision. Even on regular bikes riders routinely are going faster than 12 mph. The problem is that pedestrians are not conditioned to be watchful for people on bicycles. Leaving a house or office building one first is out on a sidewalk where there are only pedestrians. It is when leaving the curb and going out on a street that people think (sometimes) that they should look both way for an approaching bike or car.

Pedestrians on a bike path will walk out in front of a bicyclist without watching and provide little or no opportunity for the bicyclist to avoid contact. I see people with dogs off lead or with a long leash that blocks the bike path and they nearly always get upset when I tell them to manage their dog(s). Groups of women will walk along the bike path chatting and be 3 or 4 abreast and completely block the bike path for everyone else.

The problem is that pedestrians on bike paths are going to create problems for bicyclists and whether the bicyclist is traveling at 10 mph or 15 mph makes no difference. But the city council folk are reluctant to upset the pedestrians and dog walkers and parent with a baby stroller and perceive bicyclists as an outlaw minority. This perspective has not changed over the past 70 years with our addiction to cars.

No e-bike being sold by a bike shop has a speed of greater than 18 mph and even these bikes depend on the cyclist pedaling fast as the motor only provides pedal assist. There are electric motorcycles that weigh 70 lbs or more and have 4" wide tires and can operate with no need to pedal. I have yet to see anyone actually using such a motorized vehicle on the streets.

Lots of statements with assumptions that have nothing to do with the reality of the situation. I have been dealing with anti-bicyclist sentiment for more than 60 years and this is one thing that has yet to change. Having worked with city councils and board of supervisors members since my college days I soon came to realize that people were elected who received the most money from donors and not the best and the brightest candidates - in fact far from it.
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Old 07-09-23, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Thinking pedestrians should get out of your way is precisely the same reasoning that drivers apply to cyclists cluttering up the roads. The problem is not pedestrian behavior. The problem is the mismatch between bike speed and pedestrian speed.

In the absence of bikes, motorized or otherwise, pedestrians get along with each other just fine on so-called "bike paths." It's the bikes that create problems. You're riding too fast for the conditions. Simple as that.

Sick of encountering pedestrians behaving like pedestrians on multi-use paths? Slow to walking speed or get off the bike. Better still, ride on the road.

Complain all you like. Nothing about pedestrian behavior is going to change. Nothing should change. Why is that not obvious?

I am going to disagree with you. Even if a cyclist is going 10 mph, if a pedestrian suddenly walks in front of them, it's not the cyclist's fault but that's what will be said. If a kid breaks lose from a parent and runs in front of a cyclist going 8mph, it's still going to be bad, but not the cyclist's fault. If a dog (or a retractable leash) get in the way of a cyclist going 8mph, it's going to cause an accident. How do I know - they have all happened to me on our local pathway where pedestrians walk on the right side, left side and in the middle and then change without looking behind them at all AND a 4 year old wasn't supervised adequately by a parent and ran right in front of my bike and I had to lay it down to avoid hitting the kid AND I was nearly decapitated by a retractable cable leash stretched across the path with the owner on one side and his dog all the way on the other. My point - I was riding an e-assist at the time at appropriate speeds for the conditions, but even then inattentive or irresponsible pedestrians can cause accidents. So NO, it's not the bikes that create the problem on SHARED paths. Part of the problem is the pedestrian, part is cyclists who go too fast. Where I live the law regarding shared paths says that the pedestrians has the same obligation to behave safely and alertly as cyclists.
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Old 07-17-23, 07:17 AM
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I wonder what the numbers are for deaths or injuries from accidents occurred while pedestrians using cell phone and not paying attention to where they are walking.
I see them few times a day on my cycling commute in NYC, faces buried in their cell phones and walked right into the street without looking for oncoming traffic.
I ring my bell and all of the sudden they realize where they are.
In my cycling commute in NYC, 99% of my speed is below 18 mph, even on designated bike paths.
I let the delivery folks on ebikes have their high speed operation, maybe they can get more tips by delivering faster.
Riding above 20 mph doesn't really get me to my destination few minutes faster, not worth the risk of getting into accidents.
If I'm cycling for top level of fitness or racing, that's on designated race course or roads that I know I can do so safely.
Even if I participate in a group ride, I tend to stay off the aggressive riding until I am on a good stretch of road that I'm familiar and safely operate at high speed.
As a rider, I take responsibility of my actions, if accident occurs, I know that I stay well within the rule of the road.
I make my presence on the road known to the motorists, so they can operate their vehicle accordingly.
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